A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘exhibition place

[PHOTO] Six photos of Scadding Cabin, Exhibition Place

Scadding Cabin, a log cabin named after the English immigrant John Scadding who built it in 1794 that happens to be the oldest known surviving house in Toronto, was the final stop on the Ghost Walk held at Exhibition Place. It was a good stop, between the dim of evening outside and the candles inside.

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Written by Randy McDonald

May 22, 2017 at 6:00 pm

[PHOTO] Twelve photos from a Ghost Walk at Exhibition Place, Toronto (#explaceto)

The Jane’s Walk that took me through Exhibition Place‘s spaces, places like the General Services Building and the Horse Palace with their own reputations of odd happenings, was rather evocative. Kevin Connor’s Toronto Sun article goes into more detail about some of the stories that are told about this place by the lake.

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Written by Randy McDonald

May 21, 2017 at 12:56 pm

[PHOTO] Six photo albums from the Jane’s Walk weekend in Toronto, 2017 (#janeswalkto)

Last evening, I kept my computer busy by uploading the more than two hundred photos I had taken last weekend, during Jane’s Walk in Toronto. At one point, I had planned to take eight, but reality and fatigue intervened so as to limit me to six, five on Saturday the 5th and one on Sunday the 6th.

  • My first was “St. Lawrence Market: Role of Public Markets in Placemaking”, led by Samantha Wiles. Wiles ably took her group around St. Lawrence Market, past the archeological excavations to the market’s north, around its perimeter, and to the south, introducing us to the market’s very long history at the heart of Toronto. Photos are here.
  • In the afternoon, I followed urbanist Richard Longley in his “Harbord Village east side: architecture old, new, diverse, domestic, insitutional, sacred, profane”, taking a large contingent through a rapidly changing neighbourhood south of the Annex. I was particularly taken by the abundance of creative graffiti in the back alleys, especially on Croft Street. Photos are here.
  • Later in the afteroon, I followed Brian Sharwood and Melinda Medley, the bloggers behind OssingtonVillage.com, on a short but information-packed stroll north in Indie Ossington, from Ossington at Queen on the CAMH grounds up to Dundas Street. Photos are here.
  • In the evening, I went down to Exhibition Place for the Ghost Walk led there by Steve Collie. As night fell, Collie took dozens of people on a stroll through some of the locales where ghost sightings have been claimed, from the stacks of the centre’s archives to the barracks where soldiers sent off to war spent their last moments in Canada. The behind-the-scenes perspective it offered of Exhibition Place was a big plus. Photos are here.
  • Late at night, at 11 o’clock, I joined the Nightwalking & Secret Staircases: Baby Point walk led by Oona Fraser. My photo album includes my pre-walk, east from Old Mill station and up Jane Street to the Baby Point Gates. Walking through the wooded parks along Humber River, up and down the stairs, underneath the luminous sky, was magic.
  • Sunday afternoon, after joining a visiting Taiwanese friend for lunch and then doing some independent walking south on Roncesvalles and east on Queen Street West to Dufferin, I joined “Here’s the Thing: A Creative Writing Walk (Part 2 / Downtown)” at Dufferin Station. Led by Denise Pinto and Shari Kasman, this was a guided walk, the participants being given (and providing) prompts at different moments on the walk to write different things. I enjoyed this late afternoon walk, a lot. My output tended more towards prose poetry than fiction, but it was fun regardless.
  • I’m not sure what I’ll do with all of these photos. I doubt I’ll post most of them to this blog, to Tumblr or Instagram. They remain on Flickr nonetheless, ready for you to peruse. (I also have uploaded them all to Facebook, too, so those of you who follow me there can see them there, too.)

    [PHOTO] Looking west, Exhibition Place

    Looking west, Exhibition Place

    Written by Randy McDonald

    February 28, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    [URBAN NOTE] “Is the Exhibition Place’s Hotel X back on track?”

    The Toronto Star‘s Ellen Brait reports on the latest in the struggle to build a hotel at Toronto’s Exhibition Place, between environmental concerns with the site and the financial concerns of the builders.

    The construction of Exhibition Place’s Hotel X has been long, complicated, and riddled with problems. But those involved say they’re back on track.

    “May is the target date. We’re making pretty good progress,” Owen Whelan, president of McKay-Cocker, the construction manager for the project, said. “I would say at this point we’re full speed ahead.”

    But a number of liens still remain in place against the property. Liens are typically placed against properties as a means to keep a right of possession until a debt is paid.

    Government records show five companies certified liens between Oct. 2016 and Dec. 2016 that are still in place. They range from around $89,000 up to $32-million. Multiplex Construction Canada Limited, the former construction manager of the project, took out the largest lien, at $32,573,260, on Oct. 19, 2016 and filed a second one for $17,618,739 on Nov. 28, 2016.

    Jeffrey Burke, president of Lift All Crane Service Ltd., one of the companies with a lien against the property, said after Multiplex Construction Canada left the project, they left many companies “in the position where we had to put a lien on the project to ensure we were going to get paid.”

    Written by Randy McDonald

    February 15, 2017 at 6:00 pm

    [URBAN NOTE] “The Shell Oil Tower is a lost 1950s masterpiece”

    At the end of last year, Spacing Toronto’s Chris Bateman described the too-short life of Exhibition Place’s Shell Oil Tower.

    A little over 30 years ago this winter, one of Toronto’s earliest Modern buildings was pulled to the ground. When the Shell Oil Tower at Exhibition Place was completed in 1955, Toronto didn’t have any steel-and-glass downtown office towers.

    The most-prominent building in the city was Commerce Court, a 24-year-old limestone-clad bank building decorated with sculpted heads representing courage, observation, foresight, and enterprise. Its reign as the Commonwealth’s tallest structure prolonged by the Great Depression and the Second World War.

    The Shell tower was conceived as an advertisement for Dutch petroleum giant, Shell Oil. The company invited four architects to submit designs for an “cheerful” observation tower, but didn’t stipulate the materials, decoration, or motifs.

    The blueprint submitted by architect and associate University of Toronto professor George Robb envisioned a rectangular, nine-storey column of steel and glass topped by a viewing platform and large analogue clock. A staircase spiralled up the outside and another descended within. Robb’s design was luminous and completely transparent thanks to its walls of glass.

    “Exhibition architecture poses the architect a number of special problems,” wrote Canadian Architect magazine in its first issue in November 1955. “His building has to be gay, even flamboyant; it also has to withstand the concentrated assaults of crowds for short periods, and then be shut up for months on end.”

    Written by Randy McDonald

    January 3, 2017 at 6:30 pm

    [PHOTO] ExPlace Windmill, Exhibition Place

    Windmill #toronto #exhibitionplace #windmill

    Yesterday, I photographed WindShare‘s ExPlace wind power generator, 91 metres tall and built in 2002, dramatically against the sun. This was the closest I’ve ever been to it, but this tower is visible throughout the west end and far up Dufferin Street. For the curious, the Toronto Star has an article going into greater detail about ExPlace’s history.

    Written by Randy McDonald

    July 12, 2016 at 12:43 pm